give (one) pause

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give (one) pause

To cause one to take a moment to consider something; to cause one to hesitate. I'd love to buy a house, but the fact that I'd have to completely deplete my savings account to do it gives me pause. That statistic should give everyone pause.
See also: give, pause
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone pause (for thought)

Fig. to cause someone to stop and think. When I see a golden sunrise, it gives me pause for thought. Witnessing an accident is likely to give all of us pause.
See also: give, pause
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

give pause

Cause one to hesitate, as in The high monthly installment payments gave me pause, or, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet (3:1): "For in that sleep of death what dreams may come ... Must give us pause." [c. 1600]
See also: give, pause
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

give pause to, to

To stop temporarily; to hesitate; to hold back in order to reflect. This term, too, comes from Shakespeare, from Hamlet’s famous soliloquy on death (3.1), “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come . . . must give us pause.” Eric Partridge said it has been a cliché since the mid-nineteenth century.
See also: give, pause, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
But, Malala, if life on Earth is to survive, your message might yet give them pause.
Yet the flow of information about the case and the still changing understanding of what actually took place, should give them pause.
NEW YORK -- With unemployment edging up, consumers remain uncertain about the direction of the economy, which may give them pause in spending over the summer season, analysts say.
But that leaves the question of why the more precise methods of modern gene splicing should give them pause.
However, his equally interesting, but less fully developed, view of the period from the Land War to the Great War should give them pause. He rejects with derision any suggestion that the benefits of Irish agricultural restructuring were drained back to the "colonial master." Rather, he stresses the British role in subsidising the creation of a peasant proprietorship as a component in the economic origins of the movement for Irish independence.
That they may have little time left perhaps ought to give them pause, but do not bet on it: A crusade against "discrimination" is a gold mine for bureaucrats and ideologues in pursuit of bigger budgets and enhanced political power for themselves.
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